Russia hinders Security Council meeting on human rights in Syria

Writing Abd Allah Al Darwesh | Translation Glory Jabr | Translation Editing Freda Hocaine 🕔 Publication Date: March 20, 2018, 10:15:50 AM wire INTERNATIONALPOLITICS United Nations Security Council

Turkey - SMART

Russia has cancelled a Security Council meeting to discuss the human rights situation in Syria, after voting alongside China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan against the meeting.

France invited Britain, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, the United States, Peru and Kuwait, to hold the meeting. The meeting includes listening to a speech by the UN High Commissioner for HUman Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Gannady Kuzmin, reported that human rights are not on the Security Council's agenda. Kuzmin called for a vote to hold the meeting.

Eight countries called for and voted in favor of the meeting. On the other hand, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia, abstained from voting. The meeting failed to materialise as the required nine out of 15 affirmative votes were not had.

According to Reuters agency, the French Ambassador to the International Organization, Francois Delater, reported: "The Security Council needs to have all necessary information to understand the crisis in which it searches, including human rights."

Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein then criticized the Security Council for failing to defend human rights and prevent further casualties. He point out "the Syrian conflict is characterized by its total disregard of the most basic principles and laws."

Al-Hussein also reported that the UN's failure to protect civilians hampers its legitimacy and undermines its work. He added that the veto in the Security Council protects war criminals from prosecution.

Russia, as the Syrian government's main ally, has used vetoed against the Security Council's resolutions 11 times since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011. Most recently, it vetoed against two Japanese and American projects looking to extend the work of the Joint Investigation Mechanism on chemical attacks in Syria.

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Writing Abd Allah Al Darwesh | Translation Glory Jabr | Translation Editing Freda Hocaine 🕔 Publication Date: March 20, 2018, 10:15:50 AM wire INTERNATIONALPOLITICS United Nations Security Council
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